Karnataka: 29 ministers to be sworn-in today
The first list of ministers was finalised in consultation with the party's central leadership in Delhi.
Bangalore: 29 MLAs will be inducted on Saturday into the newly elected Congress government in Karnataka at Raj Bhawan. Of the 121 Congress MLAs elected in May 5 Assembly elections, more than 50 are former ministers. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who took the oath on May 13 brought the Congress to power after seven-year hiatus in the state.
29 ministers will be sworn in at Raj Bhavan, the 64-year-old Chief Minister told reporters in the district headquarters town of Mysore on his return from Delhi where the first list of ministers was finalised in consultation with the party's central leadership.
Karnataka Assembly has a strength of 224 and Siddaramaiah can induct up to 33 ministers. "The swearing-in is at 10.30 am (at Raj Bhavan)," he said,
adding, Governor HR Bhardwaj would administer the oath of office.
A section within the Congress and freedom fighter HS Doreswamy have strongly pushed the party leadership not to give Cabinet berths to those allegedly involved in illegal mining scam and facing corruption charges.
In this context, party sources suggested that the Lad brothers - Anil and Santosh - may not find a berth, also former Working President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) DK Shiva Kumar, who had also staked claim for the Chief Minister's post.
Ruling out induction of any scam-tainted person, Siddaramaiah said there would be no one involved in any scandal who will find a place in his ministry. He said the focus of the cabinet expansion would be on "region and social justice".
Meanwhile, the Speaker's post may go to octogenarian MLA Kagodu Thimmappa, who won from Sagara in Shimoga District. "We are thinking of Kagodu Thimmappa," Siddaramaiah said. But Thimmappa has reportedly turned down the proposal.
Siddaramaiah said there would be no Deputy Chief Minister, a post eyed by KPCC President G Parameshwara, who lost in the May five polls, and senior MLA TB Jayachandra. Sources said Parameshwara is expected to continue as KPCC President.
The names doing the rounds for Cabinet berths include Jayachandra, RV Deshpande, HK Patil, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Ramanatha Rai, Ambarish and Ramalinga Reddy, according to Congress sources.
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)